Chapter 1

Therewasnopossibilityoftakingawalkthatday. Wehadbeenwandering,indeed,intheleaflessshrubberyanhourinthemorning; butsincedinner(Mrs.Reed,whentherewasnocompany,dinedearly) thecoldwinterwindhadbroughtwithitcloudssosombre,andarainsopenetrating, thatfurtherout-doorexercisewasnowoutofthequestion. 

Iwasgladofit: Ineverlikedlongwalks,especiallyonchillyafternoons: dreadfultomewasthecominghomeintherawtwilight, withnippedfingersandtoes, andaheartsaddenedbythechidingsofBessie,thenurse, andhumbledbytheconsciousnessofmyphysicalinferioritytoEliza, John,andGeorgianaReed. 

ThesaidEliza,John,andGeorgianawerenowclusteredroundtheirmamainthedrawing-room: shelayreclinedonasofabythefireside, andwithherdarlingsabouther (forthetimeneitherquarrellingnorcrying) lookedperfectlyhappy. Me,shehaddispensedfromjoiningthegroup;saying, "Sheregrettedtobeunderthenecessityofkeepingmeatadistance; butthatuntilsheheardfromBessie, andcoulddiscoverbyherownobservation, thatIwasendeavouringingoodearnest toacquireamoresociableandchildlikedisposition, amoreattractiveandsprightlymannersomethinglighter,franker,morenatural, asitwereshereallymustexcludemefromprivileges intendedonlyforcontented,happy,littlechildren." 

"WhatdoesBessiesayIhavedone?"Iasked. 

"Jane,Idon’tlikecavillersorquestioners; besides,thereissomethingtrulyforbidding inachildtakinguphereldersinthatmanner. Beseatedsomewhere; anduntilyoucanspeakpleasantly,remainsilent." 

Abreakfast-roomadjoinedthedrawing-room, Islippedinthere. 

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